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vol. 19
Original paper

Attitudes toward physical education in Portuguese schools: Middle and high school students

Ricardo Franco Lima, Filipe Manuel Clemente, Raul Fraguela Vale

Human Movement 2018 vol. 19 (4), 64-70
Online publish date: 2018/09/21
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The purpose of the study was to analyse possible determinants of Portuguese middle and high school students’ attitudes toward physical education (PE).

The total of 949 students (48.6% male, 51.4% female) aged 13.96 ± 1.96 years participated in the study. Out of these, 50.9% practised sports 2 or 3 times a week. The exploratory factor analysis resulted in 4 categories that explain 51.28% of the total variance: F1 (PE curriculum), F2 (PE teaching), F3 (practice conditions in PE), and F4 (PE benefits).

The t-test analysis (between-gender) revealed that males attributed significantly more meaning (a lower average corresponds to a greater value) than females to the PE curriculum (p = 0.001; d = 0.277), PE teaching (p = 0.019; d = 0.151), practice conditions in PE (p = 0.004; d = 0.189), and PE benefits (p = 0.001; d = 0.436). The variance between levels of practice outside school revealed higher meaning attributed by students who practiced sports in the variables of PE curriculum (p = 0.004; d = 0.205), PE teaching (p = 0.017; d = 0.168), and PE benefits (p = 0.001; d = 0.466).

The study results suggest that males ascribe more value to the general attributes of PE and that students who participate in sports value the meaning of PE more than those who do not.


physical education, attitudes, pedagogy, students

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